Monthly Archives: October 2014

I’ve spotted a few tweets about this email to Washington Post staffers:


* Best all-newsroom email in some time (@mikedebonis), October 28

Columbus Dispatch, October 31
The Plain Dealer/Northeast Ohio Media Group editorial board – the people who refuse to explain why they took down their Kasich/FitzGerald videoare explaining why they’ve withdrawn their “glowing” Sandra Williams endorsement. The state representative has pleaded no contest and found guilty of using $2,255 in campaign funds to buy, then sell Ohio State football season tickets.

When an editorial board member questioned Williams about possible personal problems while the endorsement was still under consideration, Williams implied then that she was dealing with a minor technical error in a campaign filing.

The board is now issuing no endorsement for the Ohio State District 21 race.

Meanwhile, Plain Dealer/Northeast Ohio Media Group opinion director Elizabeth Sullivan and her colleagues continue to get beat up for their silence on the video removal. On Thursday, it was the Rachel Maddow blog’s turn to kick Cleveland’s largest news organization, which has endorsed John Kasich for governor. He performed poorly in the video that the Plain Dealer/NEOMG didn’t want its readers to see.

* Sandra Williams is “a top-notch choice” for District 21 (
* Editorial board withdraws “glowing” Williams endorsement (
* Williams found guilty of profiting from football tickets (
* Hey, Crain’s, NEOMG’s Chris Quinn doesn’t return any media calls (

Donald Trump, who repeatedly sues and criticizes journalists and wishes newspapers be put to sleep, is speaking at a First Amendment event this month. I emailed Nackey S. Loeb School of Communications executive director David Tirrell-Wysocki on Thursday to find out why Trump was chosen, but didn’t get a response. I called him this morning and got voicemail, so I left a Why Trump? message. Come on, David, don’t be a “loser” – Trump’s favorite diss – and ignore us!

Update – Tirrell-Wysocki sends this email:

You guess wrong about Mr. Trump giving to the school.

We approached Mr. Trump when he was in NH last spring, told him about the school and asked if he’d be williing to donate his time as the keynote speaker at our annual fund-raising event. He agreed.

Donald Trump is our featured speaker for the same reason we have featured Vice President Joe Biden, Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly, ABC’s George Stephanopoulos, columnist Pat Buchanan, NBC’s Tim Russert among others, as our speakers. They aren’t afraid to speak their minds, something that the First Amendment protects for all Americans; and they help the Nackey Loeb School of Communications promote the First Amendment and communications through the free courses we offer.

In that regard, Mr. Trump and all our speakers have shown themselves to be friends of journalism and we thank them all.

* Trump to speak at Loeb First Amendment Awards event ( | Release
* Comment: “Watch what you say about anything ‘Loeb'” (

* From Thursday’s Halifax Chronicle Herald. | Full image (
* Tribune Publishing acquires Sun-Times Media’s six daily and 32 weekly suburban newspapers. ( | (
* New York Times cuts ties with Texas Tribune after four years. The Tribune blames “challenging economic times that continue to bedevil the media industry.” (
* Rafat Ali: “The days of cheap tricks for clicks is coming to an end, the days of bullshit ‘growth hacking’ are coming to an end.” (
* One problem with j-schools: “Faculty teach what they know, and that might not be cutting edge.” (
* Oh, no! “Colbert Report” ends December 18. (
* News outlets will have to pay about $70,000 to have a reporter travel with the president to Asia next month. (
* University of North Carolina claims it didn’t know that it wasn’t free to use a photo it grabbed from a weddings portfolio site. (
* Where was the Raleigh News & Observer during the 18-year UNC sports scandal? asks Murray Sperber. (
* The Matt Taibbi Story, according to his former colleagues at First Look Media. ( | Will Yahoo be Taibbi’s next stop? (@cwarzel)
* Gawker figures First Look Media will be around for five years. (
* The average salary at is around $75,000; those with entry-level editorial jobs make between $40,000 and $50,000. (
* Cincinnati Enquirer’s No. 2 editor and about a dozen others are out at the Gannett paper. ( ween
* [Right] I bet they had an interesting news meeting at Mashable this morning. (
* When restaurant critics decide to show their faces. (
* An FOIA-related arrest in Arkansas is a first. (
* Scrolling through conservative columnist Ben Shapiro‘s Twitter feed is “worse than watching ‘Faces of Death’ for the first time.” (
* Check out Austin Chronicle’s Halloween masks gallery. (Of course, Rick Perry and Ted Cruz are there.) (
* The Milwaukee Bucks are negotiating to buy the Journal Sentinel’s longtime home. (They want to build an arena there.) (

- Credit: Chris Britt

– Credit: Chris Britt

GateHouse Media CEO Mike Reed has been collecting six-figure annual bonuses while his journalists haven’t had raises in seven years. As reported here last week, a health-care reporter at GateHouse’s Springfield (IL) State Journal-Register works at McDonald’s on weekends to make ends meet. This cartoon was drawn by Chris Britt, who was laid off from the State Journal-Register in 2012.

* “Now Hiring” ( | (
* Earlier: Meet the health-care reporter who works at McDonald’s (


I called Milwaukee schools spokesman Tony Tagliavia to see why the board wants the Journal Sentinel’s Erin Richards taken off the education beat. He had colleague Denise Callaway forward a letter that school board president Michael Bonds addressed to Journal Sentinel editor Martin Kaiser earlier this month. In it, Bonds wrote:

My concerns fall into four basic areas of concern, virtually all of which involve Ms. Richards: factual errors, failure to fairly report or assess data/information, failure to cover critical meetings and events, and typographical errors. I have outlined examples of those concerns in this letter, but can provide the exact documentation upon request. For the sake of not being repetitive, these situations involve Ms. Richards, unless otherwise noted.

Bonds added in his Oct. 1 letter that “it is my opinion we have reached a critical point and I am asking you to assign someone other than Ms. Richards to the education beat.”

Erin Richards

Erin Richards

It doesn’t look like that’s going to happen though. Kaiser told me on Wednesday “the MPS agenda is stupid and a lie.”

Richards had not seen the letter until this morning when I sent her this link. “A heads-up [by Bonds] as a courtesy would have been nice,” she says in an email. Kaiser didn’t see it, either. “I have never been contacted by anyone at MPS asking that Erin Richards be removed from covering MPS,” he says.

Richards says “most of the concerns raised [in the letter] are very minor, given the quantity of stories I write – and their complexity.”

And the issue about not attending meetings? Of course I don’t go to every MPS committee and whole board meeting anymore. I have to do this job during the day as well, and with only one person on the beat, that means increasingly I have to advance agenda items before they happen, or follow-up on stories after votes have been taken.

The letter also neglects to note that all MPS board meetings are broadcast on local 88.9 FM. So I spend much of my free time on Tuesdays and Thursdays listening to the board meetings. That way, I can keep up with discussions that suddenly turn interesting, while still having a bit of a life. Or at least cooking dinner.

I asked Urban Milwaukee editor and former Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reporter Bruce Murphy what he thought of Richards’ work. “I think she’s a solid reporter,” he writes, “and I haven’t seen any signs of obvious bias. But it’s worth noting that Richards operates in a different environment than the Journal Sentinel of old. The paper is less beat-oriented these days and more enterprise oriented. That seems to result in less day-to-day coverage of MPS than the paper used to do.”

Will Richards be at tonight’s meeting?

“I will not,” she says. “After reviewing the items slated for action, I don’t see anything that’s immediately newsworthy. Bonds’ report to the board is an informational item, so it’s not like the board will be voting on my job performance.”

* Read the Milwaukee school board president’s letter to Martin Kaiser
* Board president’s activities include trying to get reporter taken off MPS beat

Update: Read comments from my Facebook friends and subscribers (

Update 2: “Both a serious matter and something to laugh at” (

Update 3: No way the Journal Sentinel will replace Richards now (

Update 4: Schools spokesman Tony Tagliavia emails on Friday afternoon:

Because I believe a question was raised about the Journal Sentinel receiving the letter from President Bonds you referenced, we double-checked. Our records confirm Ms. Callaway sent an email on President Bonds’ behalf with the letter attached on October 2 and it was received by the Journal Sentinel server (see below).

02 Oct 2014 15:34:16 (GMT -05:00) (DCID 4129429) Delivery details: Message 49005896 sent to
02 Oct 2014 15:34:16 (GMT -05:00) Message 49005896 to received remote SMTP response ‘Thanks’.


The Akron Beacon Journal told Rep. Bill Johnson’s campaign to stop using this obviously doctored front page in the Republican candidate’s ads, saying it has “a strict policy on the use of its content in campaign advertising. Nothing is to be altered.”

Campaign manager Sarah Poulton responded: “Although it’s clear that the law and First Amendment permit the use of quotes from newspapers in political ads, we have honored the newspaper’s requests and are editing and replacing the commercial to remove the accurate quotes altogether.”

Update: Beacon Journal files complaint with election commission (

* Akron Beacon Journal tells campaign to stop using fake front page ( | (

- Don Surber

– Don Surber

Charleston Daily Mail has fired editorial writer and columnist Don Surber (above) over his blog post calling Michael Brown an “animal” that was put down.

Editor and publisher Brad McElhinny says of his dismissed staffer:

He selected words that were unfortunate, inflammatory and, in our view, inexcusable.

It’s his own blog, but still, he’s known as a Daily Mail editorial columnist and many readers seemed to perceive the views stated to reflect on the Daily Mail’s editorial policy.

They don’t. And this newspaper is working to rebuild the community’s trust.

Surber, who worked at the Charleston paper for 30 years, deleted his Saturday blog post on Tuesday after I linked to it. (You can still read it here.) He wrote that his “initial reaction was Michael Brown deserved to die and I was right. His death was a justifiable homicide.” He called Brown “a gigantic thug who was higher than a kite when he attacked Ferguson Police Department Officer Darren Wilson, who unfortunately had to put this animal down.”

Update: Surber has republished his post “without the passage I apologized for.” He adds: “Readers who want to carry this on forever should be ashamed of themselves.”

* Regrets, and a change on the editorial page (
* Earlier: Charleston Daily Mail editorial writer calls Michael Brown an “animal” (

* New York Times Co. beats analysts’ third-quarter forecasts with a loss of $12.5 million. (Reuters via | (
* Ben Bradlee‘s funeral was “a statement of the man’s irreverence and verve.” ( | The word “dickhead” was used twice at Bradlee’s funeral. ( | Many gushing and heartfelt tributes. ( | Transcript and video of Quinn Bradlee‘s eulogy. (
* “I had fun” using a manual typewriter for a week, says student journalist Cory Blair, but “it was frustrating, my grades suffered and my productivity dropped.” (
* [Right] Screw ISIS and Ebola! There’s a cat stuck in a tree in Charlottesville, VA. (
* How Tim Cook came out in Businessweek: He pitched his piece to editor Josh Tyrangiel. (
* Family Circle hears from haters after profiling a gay family. (
* Banner Alzheimer’s Institute to journalists: Cover our briefing and you get $100. (
* Why Rupert Murdoch is still working at 83: “Curiosity,” he says. (
* The redesigned Flipboard is “broader but also more personal than ever.” (
* No sympathy for “whining” White House correspondents. (
* Gawker considers covering Albany. (
* FYI: It’s daylight saving time that’s ending – not daylight savings. (
* Verizon’s new tech site bans stories on U.S. spying. (

I asked Jay Rosen if he’d be posting the pitch he made to his bosses. “There was no pitch,” he replied. “I just said to my colleagues: I want to teach an elective in the spring called, The Future of the New York Times. The director of undergraduate studies said: Can I audit it?”

Update: Course description for “The Future of the New York Times” (

* Comments from my Facebook friends and subscribers (